ECHR Press Release – 9th May 2012

The Emirates Centre for Human Rights (ECHR) is concerned about the continued silence
of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) authorities with regards to the whereabouts of 13 civil
society activists and advocates of political reform.

Furthermore, the UAE government is refusing to answer calls by human rights organisations
or the media to clarify the situation. A spokesman for ECHR said today “The right to
freedom of association is under attack, with anyone associated with calls for reform faces the
risk of being arrested and possibly tortured”.

The ECHR is also concerned that the authorities have hijacked the judiciary system, acting
with such impunity that an atmosphere of fear is being cultivated due to severe restrictions on
the freedom of speech & association.

ECHR supports the joint statement released by both Amnesty International and Human
Rights Watch detailing the substantive abuses taking place in the UAE and calls the
international community to place pressure on UAE authorities in order to protect fundamental
human rights.

ECHR demands the release of these political activists, but also urges the authorities to engage
with their citizens with regard to instituting democratic reforms. The international community
must play a role in this struggle to protect and safeguard their dignity and rights.

Emirates Centre for Human Rights

Notes to Editor:
1) ECHR is committed to monitoring the state of human rights, freedoms and democracy in the
United Arab Emirates.
2) For further information, interviews or to receive an information pack, please contact Rori
Donaghy on: 07850062105 or email: campaigns@echr.org.uk

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